The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Etihad Airways to open and operate a permanent Satellite Licensing Office at the airline’s Abu Dhabi headquarters.
Signed by Mr Ismaeil Al Balooshi, GCAA Executive Director – Aviation Safety Affairs, and Captain Richard Hill, Etihad Airways Chief Operations Officer, the MoU will streamline and improve aviation processes and systems management between the civil aviation regulatory body and the airline.
This includes technical cooperation in the fields of aviation safety, staff training and development, while improving GCAA professional license processing for Etihad Airways’ pilots, cabin crew and technical operations personnel.
Etihad Airways currently employs more than 1,300 pilots, 3,400 cabin crew and 300 technical operations personnel, and in line with the carrier’s expansion, plans are in place to significantly increase these numbers.
Over the next five years, the UAE flag carrier will hire more than 850 pilots, 3,600 cabin crew, and 200 technicians and engineers – all requiring GCAA licenses.
His Excellency Saif Al Suwaidi, GCAA Director General, said: “One of our fundamental priorities at GCAA is to contribute to the growth of the UAE aviation sector and enabling the national carrier. This is embodied in our continuous efforts to provide Etihad Airways with the best, world-renowned solutions and innovative services to ensure it maintains the highest standards of aviation safety and security.
Mr Ismaeil Al Balooshi said: “Our licensing administration at GCAA has always been actively planning and incorporating new programs to benefit our strategic partners and the aviation industry in the long run, which includes the inauguration of our new office at Etihad, the launch of our electronic service that issues medical certificates online, and the trial services of pilot and cabin crew licensing.”
Captain Richard Hill said: “The MoU signing reflects the positive spirit of cooperation between the UAE’s civil aviation regulatory body and the country’s national airline.
“As Etihad Airways continues to expand, this permanent GCAA licensing office at Etihad Airways headquarters will simplify and streamline the licensing and turnaround procedures for our ever growing number of pilots, cabin crew members and aircraft engineers.”
The new GCAA office is operational from today, and beyond initial license processing, the UAE aviation regulator hopes to offer other services in the future.